Change Up: Stephen Kopcik Disqualified From Sunoco Modified Finish At Thompson Icebreaker

Stephen Kopcik (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

THOMPSON – The 2022 season at Thompson Speedway began with Stephen Kopcik getting his first Sunoco Modified victory at the track in the Icebreaker. 

It was the start of a streak that saw Kopcik win four consecutive Sunoco Modified features at the track on the way to the division’s championship in 2022. 

The 2023 season at Thompson started much differently Friday for the Newtown driver. 

Kopcik led much of the 30-lap Sunoco Modified feature Friday at the Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway before losing the lead to Keith Rocco on the final lap. 

The disappointment of losing the victory on the final lap got exponentially worse for Kopcik in post-race tech inspection. 

Kopcik was disqualified from the feature and stripped of all points earned Friday after he was found with multiple technical violations following Friday’s event. 

Kopcik was disqualified for running an illegal carburetor and being under weight following the feature. 

It was unclear if Kopcik would return to the track to run Saturday’s 30-lap feature for the division. 

The disqualification moved Jon Puleo of Branford to a second place finish and Troy Talman of Oxford, Mass. to a third place finish.


  1. getserious says

    Kopcik again? You’ve gotta be kidding. Oh, this should bring out a few comments! Let me go get my popcorn and settle in.

  2. Although we all know getting into the grey area of the rule book is what racers live for but this guy needs a little more than a wrist slap. Shocks at Stafford and now this blatant disregard for the rules. If it was just under weight you could say well something went wrong with the math but might as well not run if you know dam well your not going to pass tech with the wrong carb.

  3. Do you really think it’s Kopcik’s decision to decide what carb to run? Typically now a days it’s the engine builders decision. As far as weight goes – you can not cheat there and get away with it. Either his math, scales or he lost a weight on the track.

  4. So I’ve got Kopcik down for being too clever with shocks. That’s just taking a risk and getting caught on the night they’re checking shocks. Perhaps the carb in that class as well. Just bad timing and who know perhaps that area’s a little gray as well. Fiddling with the front end in victory lane and under weight is just too obvious and little sloppy.
    Kopcik should really give some thought to trying to out think what tech will be looking at because he’s not very good at all at cheating.

  5. No surprise here. You would think that he would have been humiliated enough last year with all of the drama surrounding his shenanigans. He drives like a slob and has to cheat to run up front. His blatant disregard for the rules continues. At least Thompson is actually paying attention during tech this year. I’m sure all of his wins last year were legal…ha. I wonder how many free passes he used at Stafford in past years before they bounced him? I hope Stafford and all of his fellow competitors take note of this-it’s like showing up to a gun fight with a knife. All the hard work to prep these cars all winter and he continues to cheat and disrespect the sport. Glad to see karma continues to prevail and he is humiliated again. Mommy & Daddy must be proud. One word…trash.

  6. Oops. My bad.


  7. New season with more of the same, time for Mommy Kopcik to blame Thompson for being out to get Stephen, and tell everyone Rocco and Todd Owen were running the same carb as Stephen

  8. Bailey the NASCAR DOG says

    Looks like this guy needs to take lessons from Chad K from NASCAR…

  9. Smokey Yunick says

    At this point you have to question any car this kid puts his hands on. Hopefully the NASCAR Tour and Tri-Track tech staffs are taking notice that this kid is a serial cheater. Makes you wonder about Anthony Sesly finishing 4th at New Smyrna a couple months ago.

  10. Seeing this pattern of running outside the rules by Kopcik makes me wonder how legit is the record of the LFR “R&D” car when Kopcik was running the car.

  11. This guy spent every day at the world series last year crying to the tech staff to dq owen and christopher and said he’d never race at thompson again. How did that work out?

  12. Only 14 cars last night- going to be around 10 today… it’s a joke. Not sure what can be done to save the Thompson SK division. My vote is leave them off the schedule and lower the admission $. Don’t like paying if there is not a good product on the track

  13. Kopcik is proof that it’s usually the guy crying the most about other people cheating who is the one cheating more than anyone else.

  14. REGINALD wrote, “Kopcik is proof that it’s usually the guy crying the most about other people cheating who is the one cheating more than anyone else.”


    So true!

    🍊 🍊 🍊 🍊 🍊 🍊 🍊 🍊 🍊 🍊 🍊 🍊 🍊 🍊 🍊 🍊 🍊 🍊

  15. I over estimated – 7 sk’s ran the feature.

  16. Dairy Queen Blizzard says

    14 cars .. thats not to bad considering that’s a feature at a lot of tracks these days with the exception of Stafford for a weekly modified and or crate division in the northeast …second kopcick hopefully will take his medicine and lets be done with it. that’s what tech is for. they only came up with 2 items ?? LOL remember when Preece car was essentially stripped in tech at Stafford and the win stood….dont bash you could be the next guy DQ`d . if your up front your cheating ..PERIOD

  17. Again caught cheating like someone said questions around all cars he touches not only his car last year or year before at Stafford with shocks then Bello’s car he touches while taking victory lane photos Bello DQ’d now this DQ. Only ones I feel bad for are the car owners cause that’s not his car and it makes them look bad in the eyes of competitors. You as an owner spend a lot of money on these things and put people in them you think are respectful for the chase and you have this happen.

  18. Cheating again. Makes someone question; has he ever gotten a win without cheating. Wonder if the cars he sets up, for various people, have cheating parts. Also have to wonder; he’s been busted a few times, are the cheater parts the found are all the cheater parts on the car. Cheater’s may win, but did they win? or was it due to those parts? Would they have still won without them?

  19. The devil is in the details which never seem to be made public. Was he 5 lbs under weight, meaning he miscalculated slightly? Was the Carb a hogged out piece or was it a minor variance in tolerances. Everyone up front comes to the edge of the rules. Lets hear the details then judge.

  20. Tech Talk says

    Maybe look at the other side of the give and take that comes in racing Rich. At the world series last year Kopcik called the Thompson tech staff corrupt and called the track promoter a joke. Kopcik’s old man confronted one of the promoters at the world series and accused him of stealing his money and letting other teams cheat to beat his kid. If you’re going to do and say those kinds of things it’s probably not a good idea to show up at the next race and expect lenience or relief from the people you insulted the last time you saw them.

  21. Kopcik went to Trump University. That’s exactly what Trump does. Look how the Trump clan intimidates and threatens judges.

    😝 😆 😝 😆 😝 😆 😝 😆 😝 😆 😝 😆 😝 😆

    Rich, outside the rules is outside the rules. By a little or by a mile. Attacking tech, track officials, promoters, etc. is not very smart. Kopcik needs to learn to comply with the rules, or he’s gonna lose, lose, lose.

  22. Thumbs up to new tech guys with little to no connections I was in tech and carb was not even close when they checked it and heard car was about 50 lbs light that’s how your 4/10 faster in practice than the field . Keep up the good work tech guys there’s plenty of us working all winter trying to be legit we appreciate a level playing field


    hey dareal or PHIL. everything goes to politics. you’re a moron its a racing site.FOOL

  24. COMMUNIST COLUMNIST, your comment that “everything goes to politics” is hilarious. You noticed that too? It’s funny how racers and politicians do all the same 💩. Throwing out red herrings, then the huge white elephants, all the yelling, false accusations, playing outside the rules and laws, unethical, crying when caught, playing the victim card, yadayadayada. You think since the pols do it, it’s okay for the racers to do it?

    Yeah, it is hilarious. 😆 🤣 😂

  25. Great job by Steven his crew and car owner. It is very unfortunate this has taken place. I take full responsibility for the disqualification. Many teams contact me in the off season with questions on rules and regulations. This team was one of them. Current 2022 management explained the way they wanted carburetor tech to be performed. A few weeks before the Thompson racing season started a decision was made to cut costs and the technical director position was eliminated. When my position was eliminated I did not feel it was necessary to contact all competitors. Apparently management decided for the first race to change the way they performed carburetor tech. So my apologies to any and all competitors effected by these changes at Thompson speedway. I ask that competitors and spectators continue to race and enjoy this track. I ask that everyone thank Chris Michaud for keeping oval track racing alive at this great venue as well. Again my apologies to all parties involved in this. Mark St. Hilaire

  26. Friday I stood on the scales individually at Thompson after they were zeroed and each pad displayed a number 1 lb different 216,217, 218.219. Monday I called Longacre to ask if this was. an acceptable tolerance and the tech rep said the need to be recalibrated. He also said scales at race tracks are the most abused. it’s very important to have accurate measurement tools. that’s why scales used in commerce are checked by the state of ct

  27. Legal Team says

    Wonder what the Kopcik family had to do to get the tech guy who got fired to post that comment. $$$$$$. Bizarre how Kopcik was the only team who went to the tech inspector who got fired last November to get the wrong information on running a cheater carb. And the exact same gauge from 2022 was used last week to check carbs. Management didn’t change carb tech from last year.

  28. Rafter fan says

    Shawn – what do you make of the post by, apparently, Mark St. Hilaire? Is it legit? Was his position eliminated by the Thompson track operators?

  29. Rafter Fan,
    Yes, that comment is from Mark St. Hilaire. And yes, he was replaced as tech director at Thompson following the 2022 season.

  30. Ignore dareal. His head is so far up his ass just like most of the shmucks he follows. It’s not shocking. He’s easily influenced like a child using tik tok.

    Anyways I can see bending the rules but to blatantly screw up more then a few times.. back to the drawing boards.

  31. 🍷🍷🍷 Liz Cherokee 🍷🍷🍷 says

    Looker, did you ever think that if your true weight was 217.5 lbs. that the net error on the scales would be zero?
    These are just the type of cases that I love to litigate given that I actually have lots of metrology experience in my early years! At this point, just don’t underpour my liquor! 🍸🍸🍸
    Regardless, you cannot establish the tolerance on a scale without a full gauge repeatability and reproducibility analysis. Moreover the error in the 200-225 pound range may be more than it is in the 500-800 pound range where Melissa tells me the wheel weights typically are. Without a full measurement system analysis you don’t know that. All you have now is a null hypothesis.

  32. the tech guy is a republican with bad cell service says

    so if I read the statement and interoperate it as written. St Hilliare says sorry his bad, he got fired/let go /position eliminated whatever and failed to notify competitors that Thompson moving forward would now inspect carbs using a different standard and or would only be checking certain tolerance/mods ? then there are postings stating the bore size of the carb was the issue (that’s a no brainer/standard test any monkey / child can perform) . I remember back in the day after a feature win where we dominated they checked carbs. knowing what we had for a motor and carb and knowing our win was NOT due to superior horsepower I had ZERO worries. well the tech was convinced and I could tell by his actions he was going to find us guilty and couldn’t wait to take away the victory. this moron and he was a moron was so disappointed. I laughed as I watched his forehead shrink with confusion while attempting to measure the carb. once he realized gauges don`t lie unless they are worn of not properly used … he was so biased and angry he even questioned his own knowledge and then asked the other inspectors to check it as well. (in my presence) .it was a colossal embarrassment and the win stood. better story was when we finished on the podium and “swapped” parts following tech at Thompson .(officials and car owners agreement) we always got a better performing part then we presented. once a part provided by the track, given to us in exchange for our alleged “suspicious” piece that had been confiscated produced almost 20 + horsepower on the dyno. returned to me by a tech inspector ! LOL . we ALWAYS made sure we weighed the care at the track following our sessions in the shop at EVERY track we raced.. In my time as a crewmember car owner I worked with 5 engine builders and NONE of them were totally legal all had championships and 3 are still providing engines today ….someone who is a frequent offender will almost always draw more attention but of course there is bias. good news here is for now the other three out of four passed right? so St Hillarie must have gotten thru with the courtesy phone call to those guys following his departure right ??? LOL

  33. It’s funny to see what the next greatest crazy explanation for cheating will be. So the tech inspector that got fired accidentally gave them bad info and they showed up at the track with a cheater carb. But if you believe the explanation from the fired tech inspector, the cheater carb was really legal on Thursday but somehow was illegal by 9:30 pm on Friday. And also, the scales were not calibrated, but everybody else was somehow good on weight except for chopsticks. Yeah, sure boys, sounds totally legit.

  34. Follower Number Seven says

    Seen Momma Kopcik is on Facebook trashing Thompson management and Racedayct. Remember the old days when racers were the toughest guys around? Imagine being a 25-year old race car driver and needing to have your mommy fighting your battles for you on Facebook? Think she still cuts his hot dogs and packs little snack bags of goldfish for him too?

  35. Looker, your post adds nothing to this discussion. What is your actual weight? With out your actual weight, those numbers mean nothing. Also, you need to state the gauge specs for your findings to have any significance. What is the accuracy specification of a pad?


    If you actually weigh 218#, and the pads have +/- 1# accuracy, there really isn’t much of a problem.

    That’s why you need the pad specs to weigh your findings. 😝

    Besides, all cars were scaled with the same system that night. If a team can’t get weight right, they have problems.

  36. Do we love a good old rules disqualification or what race fans?
    Gracious of Mr. Hilaire to come into this snake pit of conspiracy, hyperbole, humor, bad temperaments, misinformation and righteous facts all jumbled into a tasty stew of controversy and humble himself ostensibly for the good of the sport. I’d bet there is a sizable number of folks feeling the same way.

  37. I miss the good old days when the lame excuse was, “My dog ate it.”

  38. This is old news but saw a post by car owners saying remember people no rules book this year but right on Thompson Speedway website is the 2023 rules book for Sunoco modifieds?? Am I the only one who can see this or is it an excuse to say not their fault caught cheating. Honest mistake they say but again rules posted and he’s been caught quite a bit lately cheating as well as cars he’s worked on just my opinion but don’t say no rules when it’s right there in front of you….

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